Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies



Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view



UPCOMING EVENTS: Technopolitics



MULTIMEDIA: Technopolitics Topics

Techno-Anxiety? We’ve Been Afraid of Disruptions Since the Printing Press

The world doesn’t need more nuclear weapons

Bernie Sanders Warns About Dangers Of Corporate-Controlled Media

How to Ethically Analyze Reproductive Technologies

How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution

The Ethics of AI

Moral Machines: From Machine Ethics to Value Alignment

Mathew Liao – AI and Moral Status

State Will No Longer Go After Dead Students’ Loans

Corporate Media Is Just As Dangerous As Fake News Sites

It Doesn’t Cost Much To Have A Decent Society

Einstein Refused To Accept The Disordered Universe

The Free Press: How a War on Truth Threatens Democracy

Why Socrates Hated Democracy

Blockchain – The Building Blocks for a New Society, with Vince Meens




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Technopolitics Topics




Algocracy as Hypernudging: A New Way to Understand the Threat of Algocracy

by John Danaher

It is a noticeable feature of intellectual life that many people research the same topics, but do so using different conceptual and disciplinary baggage, and consequently fail to appreciate how the conclusions they reach echo or complement the conclusions reached by others.



Perceptive and myopic views of our transparent future. Especially police cameras.

by David Brin

Let’s veer from either science fiction or politics into our politically science-fictional new world of light. Starting with a reminder that my new anthology (with Stephen Potts) Chasing Shadows, is released this week by Tor Books, featuring contributions by William Gibson, James Gunn, Neal Stephenson, Vernor Vinge and many others, offering stories and insights into a future when light flows almost everywhere. Prepare yourself!  This might be a good start.



Can We Evolve Fast Enough to Survive?

by John G. Messerly

In response to my post, “Yes, America Is Descending Into Totalitarianism,” the computer game designer Chris Crawford, shared some good news in yesterday’s post—Trump may be impeached. Later he shared his bad news:



Plantoids: The Birth of a Block-Chain-Based Lifeform

by B. J. Murphy

In the age of robotics, the question of life continues to be a puzzling matter of debate. As creatures of biological code, are we more alive than those made up of digital code? Questions like this are debated more so today than at any other time in history.



IEET Audience Divided on Best Way to Resist Global Fascism

We asked “How should technoprogressives resist the rise of global fascism?” You were divided in your preferred strategies.

Full Story...



IEET Fellow Stefan L. Sorgner live on German public radio

IEET Fellow Prof. Dr. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner will be interviewed live on German public radio next Friday. There will also be the option of calling in and asking a question. The radio program will take place on Friday the the 6th of January from 8 until 9 pm. The interview will be particularly concerned with some of his suggestions from his most recent monograph on transhumanism. There will also be a podcast based on this interview!



Major Ideas in Henry Giroux’s “Orwell, Huxley and America’s Plunge into Authoritar

by John G. Messerly

Orwell, Huxley and America’s Plunge into Authoritarianism,” Counterpunch, June 19, 2015, by Henry Giroux, the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University.



Summary of Umberto Eco on Fascism & Its Connection to Trump

by John G. Messerly

I venture the challenging statement that if American democracy ceases to move forward as a living force, seeking day and night by peaceful means to better the lot of our citizens, fascism will grow in strength in our land. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt



Should Facebook Censor the News?

by Rick Searle

In the era of information wars knowledge of the past is perhaps the only way we can remain anchored to reality. Such collective memory shouldn’t only consist of an accurate record of the facts, but would also include a sense of the history of knowledge and inforwar itself.



Michael Brenner’s: “How Autocracy Will Come To America”

by John G. Messerly

Another great piece about the rise of American authoritarianism that I’ve read recently is “How Autocracy Will Come To America” by Michael J. Brenner. Brenner is a Senior Fellow, the Center for Transatlantic Relations, and Professor of International Affairs at University of Pittsburgh. Brennan argues that anti-democratic sentiments are clearly leading the way toward fascism. He begins like this:



The Tyee - Next Economy: Tech Capitalism’s Impossible Dream

by Doug Rushkoff

Read this interview at The Tyee

Douglas Rushkoff has been observing the Internet’s trajectory since the 1990s, writing 16 influential books about digital culture along the way including Media Virus and Present Shock. Rushkoff’s latest work, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, focuses on the business and investing practices of today’s leading tech companies like Uber and Snapchat, and how they are exaggerating the worst aspects of an economic system that pushes for growth at all costs.



Eliezer Yudkowsky on Politics – Part 2

by John G. Messerly

Our two previous posts showed how prospect theory in behavioral economics explains why so many gambled on Trump, and why the artificial intelligence and decision theory expert Eliezer Yudkowsky thinks that this was a mistake. In a post written the day before the election, Yudkowsky expanded on both themes, providing a simple explanation of how many of the gamblers reasoned:



IEET Affiliate Scholar Steve Fuller Publish in Confero Journal

The Swedish philosophy journal Confero has just published a special issue on ‘Transhumanist Politics, Education and Design’, which includes an article by IEET Affiliate Scholar, Steve Fuller, on morphological freedom.

Link to Confero



The best political countersurveillance tool is to grow the heck up

by Marcelo Rinesi

The thing is, we’re all naughty. The specifics of what counts as “wrong” depend on the context, but there isn’t anybody on Earth so boring that haven’t done or aren’t doing something they’d rather not be known worldwide.

Full Story...



Thiel Fellowships, Singularity University, and the value of good old-fashioned universities

by Ben Goertzel

This Business Insider article on the outcome so far of the Thiel Fellowship experiment is interesting, though not surprising..



It May Not Feel Like Anything To Be an Alien

by Susan Schneider

Humans are probably not the greatest intelligences in the universe. Earth is a relatively young planet and the oldest civilizations could be billions of years older than us. But even on Earth, Homo sapiens may not be the most intelligent species for that much longer.



IEET Fellow Prof. S. Sorgner nominee in the category Ethics for the World Technology Awards 2016

IEET Fellow Prof. S. Sorgner was a nominee in the category Ethics for the World Technology Awards 2016 (http://www.wtn.net/summit-2016/nominee)



Martine Rothblatt, Lawrence Krauss, Douglas Rushkoff, Russell Blackford endorse Science Missionaries

by Hank Pellissier

IEET Fellows Martine Rothblatt and Douglas Rushkoff, and IEET contributor Lawrence Krauss, have endorsed the “Science Missionary” campaign of the Brighter Brains Institute that is sending technology to rural Uganda. The charitable drive will focus on solar energy, clean water, eco-briquettes, medicine, and internet access.



The Logical Space of Algocracy (Redux)

by John Danaher

(The following is, roughly, the text of a talk I delivered to the IP/IT/Media law discussion group at Edinburgh University on the 25th of November 2016. The text is much longer than what I actually presented and I modified some of the concluding section in light of the comments and feedback I received on the day. I would like to thank all those who were present for their challenging and constructive feedback. All of this builds on a previous post I did on the ‘logical space of algocracy’)



Necessary Sacrifices: Saving the White Working Class from Neoliberalism?

by Benjamin Abbott

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, various class-struggle leftists have been emphasizing neoliberalism as the culprit and highlighting the plight of the white working class. Proponents of these analyses exhort us to organize with the white working class for economic justice as a key component of antiracism.



Trumponomics

by Rick Searle

So, literally overnight, we entered the stage of the great normalization. We’ve gone from the almost universal belief among the elites, media and a large number of the American public that electing Trump would be a disaster for the country, the economy, our liberty to an apparent shrug of the shoulders and sycophantic search for advantage in the new order.



Moving Past the 2016 Election and into the FUTURE…

by Nicole Sallak Anderson

I voted today and in spite of all the cynicism of my fellow citizens, I enjoyed it. I love going to my local polling place. I live in the mountains and have the luxury of knowing the people who work there, bumping into neighbors and never, ever having to wait in line. We may be the middle of nowhere, but our polling place rocks. Every vote of mine felt good, even the presidency. Those of you who follow my blog know I’m pro third party, so yes, I voted my conscience today, but more over I also got to vote for a US Senator, US Congressperson, State Assembly and TONS of ballot measures (I live in Cali—we had over 17 propositions!)



Getting from 1932 to 1945

by J. Hughes

A piece I just wrote for the IEEE:

If the future is coming at an ever accelerating pace, then perhaps we can get from 1932 to 1945 in record time.

Full Story...



12 Notes From a Political Autopsy

by Richard Eskow

Somebody once said that healing is the process of reclaiming our own biographies. Millions of people are trying to heal right now, but their stories remain unwritten.

Full Story...



Trump and the Iron Heel

by Rick Searle

Like many others, I am still absorbing the shock of Trump’s victory in the presidential election. For the last month I had been on a holding pattern on the blog in the remote chance the pundits and pollsters had gotten this election terribly wrong. They have. Rather than having elected Hillary Clinton who would have preserved the status quo with all its flaws, but also its protections, a large portion of the electorate has chosen to blow up the system and take a dangerous, potentially dystopian turn.

Full Story...



Saving the White Working Class from Neoliberalism?

by Benjamin Abbott

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, various class-struggle leftists have been emphasizing neoliberalism as the culprit and highlighting the plight of the white working class. Proponents of these analyses exhort us to organize with the white working class for economic justice as a key component of antiracism.

Full Story...



We are in it, all right. But “figuratively”? … or “literally”?

by David Brin

Tis the season for post-mortems… for pompous declamations and dissections, explaining to us all what the F— just happened. And so, across the next week or so, I’ll offer summaries and links to a panoply of rationalizations for this bizarre turn of events.  How liberals, conservatives and other pundits got it wrong… and what I think may be glimmers of actual insight.



The missing vision

by David Wood

The United States of America have voted. In large numbers, electors have selected as their next President someone committed to:

  • Making it much harder for many types of people to enter the country
  • Deporting many of the current residents
  • Ramping up anti-Islam hostility
  • Denouncing global warming as a hoax
  • Undoing legislation to protect the environment
  • Reducing US support for countries facing hostile aggression
  • Dismantling the US deal with Iran over nuclear technology
  • Imposing punitive trade tariffs on China, likely triggering a trade war
  • Packing the Supreme Court with conservative judges who are opposed to choice.

Full Story...



Technoprogressivism Under Trump

by J. Hughes

This is from an interview I gave yesterday to a French journalist. Thought you might be interested.

Full Story...



Transhumanism, Technoprogressivism and Singularitarianism: What are the Differences?

by J. Hughes

In the recent IEET survey we asked about your support or opposition to a variety of movements including transhumanism and singularitarianism.  Your answers allow us to tease apart some of the differences between these two movements.

Full Story...

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